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Orioles down the stretch (Sept. 13)

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[Back for its second year, "Down the Stretch" is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming night for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]


About last night

Jim Johnson's error and wild pitch help Yankees beat O's
O'Day skipping trip to Toronto with soreness in fingers
Orioles present Rivera with sculpture of a broken bat
Peter Schmuck's "Observation Deck"
Thursday's full scoreboard

AL East standings

BOS     89-59     --
TB       79-66    8.5
NYY     79-68     10
BAL     77-69     11

AL wild-card standings

TEX       81-64     --
TB        79-66        --
NYY      79-68      1
CLE      78-68     1.5
BAL      77-69     2.5
KC       77-69     2.5

(For full standings, click here.)

Tonight's game

Orioles at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m.

RHP Jason Hammel (7-8, 5.11 ERA) vs. RHP Todd Redmond (3-2, 4.40 ERA)

Key matchup

Redmond was with the Orioles this spring before being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays. He pitched against the Orioles on July 13 and gave up homers to Chris Davis and Adam Jones. Is tonight the night Davis hits No. 50?


Other games that matter

Indians (Salazar) at White Sox (Santiago), 2:10 p.m.

Royals (Duffy) at Tigers (Verlander), 7:08 p.m.

Yankees (Kuroda) at Boston (Lackey), 7:10 p.m.

Athletics (Straily) at Rangers (Holland), 8:05 p.m.

Rays (Archer) at Twins (Correia), 8:10 p.m.


Thought of the day

Upon seeing the bronze broken-bat sculpture that the Orioles gave Mariano Rivera last night, one of my friends (a Yankees fan) texted me to say that he thought it was second-best gift the legendary closer has received on his farewell tour.

I don't think there's any question that the Minnesota Twins' rocking chair of broken bats is the leader in the clubhouse -- and I think that one sort of takes some steam away from the Orioles' idea. (Perhaps that's why Buck Showalter joked before the ceremony that "all the good gifts are gone.")

The sculpture is a fine gesture by the Orioles, but there are at least two other gifts I'd rank higher, at least in terms of creativity:

The Cleveland Indians presented Rivera with a framed gold record of Metallica's "Enter Sandman," Rivera's famous entrance song. With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame being in Cleveland, that was a cool touch.

The Tampa Bay Rays also played off Rivera's theme music with a local twist, erecting a large sand sculpture of Rivera's face with the title "Enter Sandman." (That's a neat idea, although I'm not sure Mo was able to take it home with him on the team charter.)

Rivera still has final trips to Boston, Toronto and Houston on the schedule. It'll be interesting to see what the rival Red Sox do this weekend, and I'm also wondering what Houston has planned, considering Rivera has never pitched there in his career.

If you're interested, Newsday has a photo gallery of Rivera's gifts.


Inside the enemy clubhouses

Jays' Encarnacion could return to face Orioles this weekend

Yankees are nearing the record for most players used in a season...

... And the Yankees now could be losing Gardner for the rest of the year

The Indians are literally running out of space in their bullpen

Age might be catching up to Rangers third baseman Beltre

Royals closer Holland wanted to make it as an infielder

Stat of the day

The Orioles have the same record as the Washington Nationals.


david.selig@baltsun.com

twitter.com/DaveSelig

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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